Start Justin Fields, Tua Tagovailoa, Jimmy Garoppolo In Fantasy? More Players To ‘Play, Hold, Drop’ In Week 15
Getty Images. Pictured: Bears QB Justin Fields, Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (left to right)
On the Thursday edition of the Fantasy Flex podcast, my colleague Brandon Anderson and I play a fun game we're calling, "Play, Hold, Drop."
The rules are the same as a familiar game, FMK, which stands for — well, you know. Each week, we will review three players at each position — quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end — one of whom we have to play, one we have to hold and one we have to drop.
Let's dive into this week's edition!
Fantasy QBs To Play, Hold, Drop
- Justin Fields (vs. Vikings)
- Jimmy Garoppolo (vs. Falcons)
- Tua Tagovailoa (vs. Jets)
Play: Tua Tagovailoa
Tagovailoa was one of my favorite waiver wire pickups this week who you could ride through the fantasy playoffs. Since Week 6 when he returned from injury, he is the QB10 for fantasy on a per-game basis, averaging more points per game than Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson — just as we all predicted. Tagovailoa has a nice rest-of-season schedule starting off with the Jets at home, then on the road in New Orleans and Tennessee.
His Week 15 matchup is the worst of the group, which is just an indictment against the Falcons and Vikings — both of which rank bottom two in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season. Gang Green has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points this year to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed an NFL-high 30.5 points per game. He is the firm play for me this week.
Hold: Justin Fields
Fields posted a nice game in his return from injury in Monday night's NFC North thriller. It was his second-best fantasy performance to date and he finished top 10 for the week. He has the second-best matchup of the group against the lowly Vikings, and his schedule does get tougher. That said, his upside is much higher than that of Tagovailoa or Garoppolo and his rushing prowess gives him a very high floor. I'm sitting him this week because Tagovailoa is the safer play. I'm just hoping Matt Nagy doesn't stymie this late-season breakout in the making.
Drop: Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo has been decent over the last couple of weeks, tallying 18 fantasy points in Seattle and 20 fantasy points in Cincinnati. He has the softest matchup this week and rest-of-season vs. the Falcons, at the Titans and vs. the Texans. Atlanta ranks second-worst in the NFL against fantasy quarterbacks, but Garoppolo's upside is the lowest of the trio based on his conservative style of play. Even with this juicy schedule on tap, I'm okay with tossing him back on the waiver wire.
Fantasy RBs To Play, Hold, Drop
- Rashaad Penny (at Rams)
- Miles Sanders (vs. Washington)
- D'Onta Foreman (at Steelers)
Play: D'Onta Foreman
Foreman has the best Week 15 matchup of the three with the Steelers on deck. Pittsburgh has given up the third-most rushing yards per game, the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs this year and has been torched over the last five weeks by the likes of Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Joe Mixon, Austin Ekeler and D'Andre Swift. Foreman has posted two double-digit fantasy performances in a row in half PPR and found the end zone last week against the Jaguars. He appears to be leading this depth chart over Dontrell Hilliard and Jeremy McNichols for now and is a solid RB3 with RB2 upside this week.
Hold: Miles Sanders
Sanders exploded in Week 13 against the Jets (as one does) and saw 27 touches for 142 scrimmage yards — good enough to finish as RB15 in half PPR. He was banged up in the matchup but apparently expects to play this week after the Eagles' Week 14 bye. He has the toughest Week 15 matchup of the three with Washington on deck, whose defense ranks 12th-best against fantasy running backs. The matchup isn't a stay-away for me, but I am concerned how the Eagles will wield this backfield, which currently consists of Sanders, Jordan Howard, Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell — especially if Sanders isn't 100%.
Drop: Rashaad Penny
Penny was the top waiver add of the week for good reason. He popped off for 16 carries, 137 yards and two touchdowns against Houston and finished as the RB3 for the week in half PPR. You have to figure some of his usage was game script, as this game wasn't close at any point. The game script could be flipped this week on the road against the Rams, who are coming off of a huge Monday night victory over the Cardinals. Toss in the fact that Alex Collins and DeeJay Dallas are still involved, Penny is the least enticing of this group.
Fantasy WRs To Play, Hold, Drop
- DeVante Parker (vs. Jets)
- Chase Claypool (vs. Titans)
- Brandon Aiyuk (vs. Falcons)
Play: Chase Claypool
Claypool gets to face the bottom two defenses against fantasy receivers in back-to-back weeks. He performed well against the Vikings and caught eight of nine targets for 93 yards and should feast on the Titans, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers. With Ben Roethlisberger looking like an adequate passer and this juicy matchup, Claypool is a solid WR3 with upside.
Hold: Brandon Aiyuk
I'll admit it: I have trust issues with Aiyuk. In Week 13 with Deebo Samuel sidelined while dealing with a groin injury, I lauded him as a locked-in starter; he caught three of six passes for 55 yards in the contest. In Week 14, he was outside of my circle of trust with Samuel back in the lineup and caught six of 11 targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. The matchup this week against the Falcons is fantastic, as Atlanta has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers this year, but Aiyuk has the biggest bagel potential of the group. I need to see two weeks in a row of solid production before Aiyuk ends up back in my lineups.
Drop: DeVante Parker
Parker was another popular waiver add I spoke highly of this week. Throughout his career, he has been a solid play — when healthy — and appeared to be good to go before the Dolphins' bye after missing seven games earlier this year. Parker caught all five of his targets for 62 yards against the Giants, but took a backseat to Jaylen Waddle, who caught nine of 11 targets for 90 yards, Mike Gesicki, who caught seven of 11 targets for 46 yards and Albert Wilson, who caught four of eight targets for 26 yards. It appears he may have a bit more competition nowadays and the matchup isn't as enticing as it would seem. The Jets have been abysmal at most things this year, but have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to receivers. Parker is a fine waiver pickup, but is my least favorite of the group.
Fantasy TEs To Play, Hold, Drop
- Pat Freiermuth (vs. Titans)
- Kyle Pitts (at 49ers)
- Dalton Schultz (at Giants)
Play: Pat Freiermuth
Freiermuth's target share hasn't been impressive of late, but he is getting the job done. Since the Steelers' bye, the rookie has scored six times over seven games and is the TE4 in half PPR on a per-game basis over that span. His numbers would be even higher if he had managed to hold onto what would have been the game-winning touchdown on the final play of the Vikings' game. His talent and upside are sky-high and he remains an integral part of this offense, especially in the red zone.
Hold: Kyle Pitts
At this point, hanging onto Pitts might be a bit sentimental for me. He was passable in Week 14 against the Panthers and caught five of six targets for 61 yards — good enough for nine fantasy points in half PPR and his best fantasy performance since Week 7. In fact, he has not crested the double-digit threshold once since Week 7 in Miami and is currently TE28 in half PPR on a per-game basis over the last seven games. He has the worst matchup of the group against the 49ers, who have been nasty against tight ends all year, allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to the position. I do like his Week 16 matchup at home against the Lions, which is enough for me to hold onto him for one more week.
Drop: Dalton Schultz
Schultz is coming off of his worst game of the year. He was held to one catch on three targets for four yards — his sixth single-digit fantasy performance in seven weeks. He, like many tight ends, has become touchdown-dependent, which is tricky when you are competing with CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard for targets from an underperforming Dak Prescott. This week's matchup against the Giants is middle-of-the-road. I have the least amount of trust in Schultz of the three.